Sun exec questions BEA's Bare Metal Java

SAN FRANCISCO--BEA Systems announced a technology this week called Bare Metal designed to give Java programs a speed boost by running them directly on computer hardware rather than atop an operating system. But in a meeting with reporters at Sun Microsystems' JavaOne conference here, Sun's software chief technology officer raised questions about the wisdom of the idea.

Hal Stern, appointed to the in May, said that operating systems are very useful part of a stack of technologies from the processor at the base to applications at the highest level. In that that technology stack, operating systems are important for managing resources, governing input-output tasks, isolating independent tasks, maintaining security and easing software deployment

"As soon as you start ripping levels out because you think you're going to gain efficiency, I think you lose some of that flexibility," Stern said.

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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